From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
In a bid to address soot and other environmental pollution caused by artisanal refining activities in the Niger Delta, the presidency has called for the review of the Petroleum Refining Regulations of 1974.
Recall that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike had last year December accused the federal government of inaction towards the hydrocarbon soot bedevilling the state caused by the illegal activities of artisanal refiners.
But in the resolutions reached at the end of the stakeholders’ emergency meeting convened by the Senior Special Assistant on Niger Delta to President, Senator Ita Enang, they resolved to that there is the need for the Federal Government to consider and approve the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the National Summit on the Integration of Artisanal/Modular Refinery Operations into the In-Country Oil Refining Programme of the Oil and Gas Sector to address the issues of environmental pollution amongst others.
According to stakeholders, there is also the need for various Organizations that have the crude oil refining technology to interact with Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulation Authority (NMDPRA) for them to make presentations on their available technologies, for regulations within the law.
They also resolved that “The team should further engage with the bodies of artisanal refining representatives to review the current state of affairs and proffer solution to the environmental and economic challenge, amongst others.
“That engagement be made with the Governors and Governments of impacted states as well as other sub-national structures for a further solution to the challenges, to curb re-pollution by the models adopted by the sub-nationals.
“That there is the need for the review of the Petroleum Refining Regulations of 1974 and other relevant laws to accommodate the establishment of artisanal refineries.
“That there is the need for the creation of a database of those trained in related fields by the presidential Amnesty Programme, as well as of Petroleum Training Institute, Warri (PTI), Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE), Petroleum TechnologyDevelopment Trust Fund (PTbF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and other relevant Institutions to harness their expertise.
“That there is the need to explore the possibility of funding the pilot scheme from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Windows, amongst others.
“That there is the need to follow the road map for the implementation of the Artisanal Oil Refining Programme (which is attached to this communiqué) to avoid a return to the situation now being addressed.”
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.
Others include the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, amongst others.